The annual visit to the gynecologist is so ripe with material that I almost looked forward to it this year. I even brought my camera to capture the warm ambiance that we women have come to embrace as a delicate cross between the school nurse’s office and a sanitarium.


Because snapping photos of the table in your gynecologist’s examination room might be considered to be 1) incredibly creepy or 2) gathering evidence for some sort of future litigation, I did this as quickly as possible in between the time the nurse told me take everything off and the time my doctor entered the room. During this time, I also debated whether I should remove my black knee socks, not because I thought my doc was interested in examining my feet but because I was concerned that I looked silly with just the black socks.

I didn’t want to commit the naked fashion faux pas.

As those of the MoB readers who have given birth know, it is during that miracle of life that you lose ALL of your dignity and care very little about what your doctor, nurse, partner, medical students or passers-by think of your appearance. But gradually, after many years, you somehow reclaim your pride to the point where you once again find yourself engaging in completely nonsensical preparations for that annual ride in the stirrups. So for instance, before a trip to the gynecologist, I:

  • Shower with an intensity level that any women’s prison guard would admire
  • Shave my legs with a new razor, even above the knee
  • Paint my toenails, a color not too slutty but appealing
  • Select the underwear and matching bra set that has no holes*
  • Apply makeup carefully and select tasteful jewelry

*I realize that the doctor never sees your underwear and bra because it is off before he enters the room. Yet I can’t help myself. The check up is like I’m going on that date where I know I am going to get lucky. For the record, my gynecologist is nice enough but not crush-worthy. And I engage in NONE of these rituals prior to going to the dermatologist, ophthalmologist, pediatrician, dentist, orthopedist, or good ol’ primary care provider. Why this appointment?

The answer, for me, is simple. Even if your doc has the bedside manner of Marcus Welby (which mine does BTW) your annual gynecology exam evokes the absolute most uncomfortable, powerless, self conscious feelings you ever allow yourself to endure voluntarily. Reclaiming some of that power by looking reasonably attractive and dignified as you enter and exit the experience is allowed. I, for one, was ready for my close-up.

Note to Readers: I have this great, but totally raunchy joke about preparing to go to the gynecologist that would jeopardize the MoB ad revenue if printed here. But if you want me to email it to you, leave a comment and let me know (I can see your email address automatically when you comment – no one else can.) I’ll send it along!

Coming next week – My 40 til’ 40 progress. I’m debating before and after pictures for your chuckling pleasure.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter